Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Advice on hospital and other care setting visits

Posted by
Friday, March 13th, 2020
Community, Coronavirus

Health and social care services are coming under growing pressure due to the increase in cases of coronavirus.

A Department of Health Spokesperson stated, “We expect normal business will not be possible as we move into the next phase of this pandemic.

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“Unfortunately, that may include some restrictions on visits to hospitals, care homes and other care settings.



“It is important to emphasise that there is no blanket ban on visits to hospitals or other care settings at this stage.

“It is fully accepted that for many families and patients, visits are essential and important to patient wellbeing.

“Given the particular risks from coronavirus, hospitals and other providers have to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff.



The Department of Health Spokesperson added, “People with underlying health problems are at particular risk, which is why hospital environments and care homes need to take particular care.”

Everyone is therefore asked to follow some basic common sense guidelines:

Do not visit if you are unwell yourself.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after visiting and use the hand sanitiser gel provided.

Ask yourself if your visit is essential.

One adult visitor per day only, unless in exceptional circumstances and following discussion with the ward sister or equivalent.

Attend outpatients either alone or only accompanied by one adult.

Check in advance and follow any localised arrangements which hospitals and other care settings have put in place.



As of 2pm on Thursday 12 March testing has resulted in two new presumed positive cases bringing the total number of cases in Northern Ireland to 20.

Both cases are adults and both were secondary transmissions.

One case involved recent travel from Northern Italy and the other can be traced to a previously reported case that involved recent travel to Northern Italy.

The Public Health Agency is currently undertaking contact tracing for both cases.



In Northern Ireland there have been 279 concluded tests, of which 259 were negative, and 20 were positive.


For more of today’s top stories in Newry and beyond, click here.  



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